For today’s issue, I want to look at fresh herbs.
The best way to have fresh herbs is to grow them from scratch, but the easiest way is to buy them already grown. Today’s issue is about how to keep the herbs healthy while you eat them, rather than letting them slowly rot in your refrigerator.
I’m going to start on the last herb I planted – parsley. I’ve used it all up so it’s time to plant a new lot. I purchased the plant from a supermarket and I already had a pot lying around. This is really about how you repot them so you can use them daily.
Step one – empty the pot. 🙂
Next, get some small rocks – I bought bonsai rocks, but any small rocks will do – and cover the bottom of the pot with them. This will give your plant great drainage and stop the roots from rotting.
Put in enough soil to cover the rocks and a little more. Normal potting mix is fine, and of course you can use the soil I spoke about in the last issue of Terrace Plant Thursday. On top of the soil, place some slow release fertiliser. I use Osmocote (pictured) but anything similar is fine. Not too much, just follow the instructions on the package.
The herbs you buy usually come in plastic “stock” pots that usually leave the plant root bound. Take the plant out of the plastic pot. You may see in the photo, I’ve laid down a plastic bag – this makes things so much easier to clean up afterwards.
Separate the roots and get rid of some excess soil down there. It doesn’t matter if you rip some of the roots out – new ones will grow. We just want to give the plant some room to breathe and grow.
Okay, this is the easy part. Get the plant and smoosh it into the pot. You won’t hurt it! Just get in in there! Push it down so it’s firmly in the pot. We’ll put some extra soil on top in the next photo….
Top up the soil around the base of the plant to bring it level with the top of the pot. I specifically used the coffee/egg/tea mix I spoke about earlier (without as much soil). You can also put a thin layer of rocks on top if the plant is in a heavily sunny place – it helps to stop the water being evaporated from the soil.
Once you’ve done that you’ll need to water the plant. The best way is to submerge it. That way the water seeps into the container, rather than watering it from the top which just washes all the soil away. Just put it in the sink and fill the sink up with water until it’s level with the top of the pot. Let it sit until the top of the soil looks wet. Then let it drain out.
Place on the window sill with your other herbs and enjoy! The more you prune, the more they grow, so don’t be shy. If you use too much, just buy more and replant them! You can see the level of growth over the next couple of photos. Enjoy!!